Global recording industry body the IFPI has been talking about it for years, artists have been beleaguered by the increasing take-up of it for even longer, and publishers have been begrudgingly agreeing to deals with YouTube that are hampered by ‘safe harbour’ laws. But still the fact remains, websites that enable “stream ripping” from YouTube are currently one of the industry’s biggest threats.
Hundreds of websites like Youtube-mp3.org, which gets more than 60 million unique users a month, and MP3Fiber, which was recently shuttered, are responsible for the downloading or copying of videos on YouTube without consent from the content creator.
According to a new report from The Independent, a third of 16-24-year-olds in the UK have illegally ripped music from YouTube for personal, sometimes monetised use.
Geoff Taylor, CEO at UK trade association BPI (British Phonographic Industry) told The Independent: “Although coordinated action by the record industry is delivering results, with major platforms like YouTube-mp3 closed down, we must continue to act against illegal sites that build huge fortunes by ripping off artists and labels.”
The download platforms and phone apps – many of which host display advertising and thus make millions in revenue off the back of artists’ copyright – are also pirating content from DailyMotion, SoundCloud and Vimeo.
“We hope that responsible advertisers, search engines and hosting providers will also reflect on the ethics of supporting sites that enrich themselves by defrauding creators,” said Geoff Taylor.